The beginning of 2020 was rough for me and that's when I knew it was going to be a dumpster fire of a year. Early January, my grandfather was admitted into a hospital for some health issues, and we weren't sure if he was going to make it or not.

His visit was prior to the pandemic. My mom and I were able to visit him and be at his side every single day. And, eventually, he got better and was able to come home.

Just over a year later: we're in the same boat. My grandfather was admitted to a hospital once again, but the circumstances are very, very different because of the pandemic.

Hospitals all over New York State have different policies and procedures in place.  Poppy's illness isn't related to COVID-19, but the rules in place are very strict to try to prevent the spread. In order to have a visitor, you have to have special approval from the hospital, and you can only visit during a specific period of time. Originally, they denied the request from my family, but after a decline in his condition, my mom was granted the time to stop in and see him.

This pandemic has been especially hard on our healthcare staff. They've been through the fire and know first-hand more than any of us how dangerous of a world we're living in. But, as someone who has a loved one in the hospital, there's a few things on my mind.

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To all the staff, nurses and doctors taking care of my Poppy:

Thank you so much for all that you are doing to keep those stuck inside your walls safe. I'm so appreciative that you're all risking your lives daily to care for your patients.

As someone who is currently experiencing what it's like to have a loved one in a hospital bed and not being able to be there to support them, I'm counting on you even more.

I'm counting on you to relay information as it pertains to my Poppy the way you should be. If we were sitting there in his room, it would be easy for us to ask questions and be involved with his journey in your care. Considering he doesn't really have the ability to answer for himself or communicate, I'm expecting you to have open lines of communication with us. Technology is a wonderful thing, as I'm sure you can imagine. Just give us a call and don't be upset if we call. We just that we want to know what's going on.

I'm counting on you to do your job to the best of your abilities. We trust you and depend on you in terms of his medical care. I'm sorry if it seems like an inconvenience, or that maybe we're asking something that you see unnecessary. Family is my Poppy's lifeline; we know his medical history like the back of our hands, and we know how he is. If we ask you to do something, even if it's something silly like trying to communicate with him with a pen and paper, there's a reason we're asking you to do it. He's scared. He doesn't know what's going on, and the anxiety is getting to him. What we ask you to do is to benefit him and make him feel more comfortable in the situation he's in.

I'm counting on you to be there for him. The policy in place only allows one member of our family to visit him for a couple of hours a day. We obviously are heart broken by that, but it's impacting him more than any of us. Our family is always there for each other, and given the situation, we don't want Poppy to think that he's alone. Please do your part to make sure he knows that you are there for him when we can't be.

All I want to be able to do is hold my Poppy's hand and help him get through this. Because I can't do my part, please, please do yours.

I know it's more than we understand, but if it was a member of your family: would you treat them the same way?

Sincerely, the girl who wants her Poppy to stay strong and make it out of your walls.

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